Frank Lampard insists his respect for Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp will “never change” regardless of any touchline incidents.
Clashes between Liverpool and Chelsea have regularly been feisty encounters since the Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez era, though that seemed to be taken up a notch towards the end of last season.
Liverpool emerged 5-3 victors over Chelsea in July at Anfield, but the match is arguably remembered more for the touchline argument between the respective benches.
Klopp and Lampard were both involved in the expletive-laden squabble, with the latter initially annoyed by the actions of Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders, who was told in no uncertain terms to “show some respect”.
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In the aftermath of the match, Klopp said Lampard needed to “learn” and that his actions were “not okay”, but both have since made attempts calm the feud, with the two set to meet on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Klopp spoke of his respect for Lampard on Friday, and the Chelsea boss reciprocated in his pre-match news conference, adding that he felt such matters are not helped by the 24-hour news cycle.
“It’s the nature of the world we live in,” Lampard told reporters when asked if the feud had been exaggerated. “There is a lot of airtime for you to fill with rivalries, so I understand they can be scrutinised in every way.
“I just want to reiterate what Klopp said from his part; I have a huge amount of respect for him as a manager, what he’s done at Liverpool has been incredible, and that’s as the focal point of the club and the individual talent they have in that squad that he’s brought in.
“So, there’s nothing in it for me. The competitive nature of the 90 minutes can always slightly boil over but the respect I have for Klopp will never change.”
Chelsea still have some important players missing for the visit of Liverpool, with Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech all remaining absent.
Thiago Silva is also still unavailable, but Lampard has high expectations of what the Brazilian will offer once he is ready to feature following a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
“Thiago has been training with us for the last three of four days, we are just working on his fitness at the moment, so Liverpool will come too soon for him,” Lampard said.
“He’s certainly a leader, he’ll bring that by nature. He doesn’t speak the language that great but that’s something we’ll work on quickly.
“We have a lot of players in the squad who are multi-lingual who can help with that as well. I look forward to having him around. He looks very engaged in helping the team.
“He’ll command respect. His presence, attitude in training and quality – he will lead. It’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Chelsea began their Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, while the Reds had to battle to a 4-3 defeat of promoted Leeds United.